Early Matters Chattanooga

The Early Matters Chattanooga coalition is made up of diverse organizations that leverage resources and align work with the specific metrics laid out in the Chattanooga 2.0 plan for providing talent development and access to education and opportunities for all students in Hamilton County, TN. Our main goal is kindergarten readiness through efforts that support early brain development, strengthening families and expanding access to quality early childhood education.  Our aim is to build a community that values and supports early care and education.


Early Matters We believe that engaging children in learning and support at the earliest moment possible is the road to lifelong success. Providing quality early learning experiences to babies, toddlers and preschoolers is the major focus of our coalition.

Families Matter Our coalition supports a two-generation approach to working with families from pregnancy through early childhood to offer home visitation, parenting support, developmental screenings and to promote family resiliency.

Quality Matters We believe high-quality early care and education of babies, toddlers and preschoolers has the greatest impact on lifelong success and we understand that it is expensive. We support all caregivers, parents and child care providers in attaining the best information and coaching to help our youngest citizens succeed.


The following are three key strategies that have been implemented, with many more in the pipeline:

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)– Our workgroup has supported and trained a cross-sector of community stakeholders on the impact toxic stress has on children through adulthood, trauma-informed care, and methods for strengthening families. To request an ACEs presentation for your group or organization, please email earlymatterschatt@gmail.com
  • Chattanooga Basics– Adopted and launched locally by our coalition, the Basics are five fun, simple, and powerful ways that every family can give every child a great start in life. Learn more at chattanoogabasics.org 
  • Hospital Visitation Program– Created and overseen by our coalition members, this program aims to ensure that every family who has a baby in our local hospitals is greeted by a hospital volunteer with the knowledge of developmentally appropriate resources to them. These resources include enrollment in the Imagination Library monthly book program, a texting program that sends developmentally appropriate messages based on the birth date of the child, and information on the Chattanooga Basics.


Leaders from dozens of organizations have been meeting for three years to plan, build strong relationships, eliminate silos and align resources.  We know that together, we can accomplish more for the children in our city, than by working independently.  Together, we have the opportunity to make large-scale systematic change. The coalition includes nonprofit organizations, city and county government entities, public libraries, churches, health organizations, schools and funding organizations.   We are making a difference, one family at a time, and know that our work is just getting started as we continue with our goal of ensuring that every child in our community arrives at Kindergarten ready for school.


Early Matters Quarterly Update

Catch up on what’s been happening with Early Matters by reading our Quarterly Updates:

October Update

July Update

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Baby University – Signal Centers
Benwood  Foundation
Blue Care of Tennessee
Chambliss Center for Children
Chattanooga 2.0
Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce
Chattanooga Housing Authority
Chattanooga Public Library
Chattanooga State Community College
Chattanooga Zoo
Children’s Advocacy Center
City of Chattanooga – Office of Early Learning
Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga
Creative Discovery Museum
Downside Up Inc
First Things First
Hamilton County Schools
Head Start
Helen Ross McNabb
Moms for Social Justice
Mt. Canaan Baptist Church
Northside Learning Center
Parents Are First Teachers
Prevent Child Abuse TN
Purpose Point
Read 20-Hamilton County
Save the Children
Signal Centers—CCR&R
Siskin Children’s Institute
Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth
The Chattanooga Basics
The Montessori School
The Speech & Hearing Center
TN Aquarium
Tennesseans Commission on Children and Youth
Tennesseans for Quality Early Education
United Way of Greater Chattanooga
University of Tennessee Chattanooga
VBHCS – Healthy Transitions
YMCA Downtown
Youth and Family Development Chattanooga

To contact our coalition or inquire about joining, please email earlymatterschatt@gmail.com.